Saturday, May 19, 2012

How to Handle Flawed Writing

I'm a writer.  It's up to the world to decide if I'm a good writer or a bad one.  I know I have writing flaws.  I falsely believed writing is for the experts, the ones who majored in journalism or won writing awards for their work.  The truth is I get a good feeling inside while I'm writing, like the runner who feels exhilarated after running for miles and getting past the aches and pains.  Just because writing brings me joy, it does not automatically make my writing brilliant.  Here are some ways to handle the flaws in your own personal writing:

  1. Join a writers group and allow them to critique your work.
  2. Volunteer to critique other writers.  Finding their flaws will help you identify your own.
  3. Put your work away for a month before reviewing it.  Make your edits with a red pen and follow your instincts.
  4. Take some online creative writing courses.  There are some experts who follow this blog who specialize in mentoring other writers.  Click on their profiles to follow their blogs.
  5. Learn to deal with negative feedback.  This feedback will help you identify your writing flaws.  Use the feedback to eliminate your writing flaws.
  6. Master the English language.  Many flaws come from a failure to comprehend sentence structure or from using a pool of words too small for the reader who expects more.  There is an ocean of words you need to be swimming in.  Learn a new word every day.  I like to refer to  my thesaurus when I need new words.
  7. Keep writing.  Daily writing is like practicing scales on a musical instrument.  The more you practice, the easier it is to compose masterpieces.
  8. Spend time with other writers.  Every writer has flaws.  The great writers will share how they overcame their own challenges.
  9. Don't sweat your flaws.  Writing is a process.  The first step is to write.  Trust others to help you with the editing.  Team up with them to improve.
  10. Don't ever give up.  Even the best selling authors dealt with flawed writing.  Some were rejected so many times they started thinking they were in the wrong profession.  They did one thing that allowed their work to reach the best sellers list-- they kept writing.  They never gave up.
Do you have a story to share about how you handled your own flawed writing?  Please share how you managed to improve so others may benefit.

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